Brown smells profits in India

Prime minister Gordon Brown has commenced talks with other world leaders on comprehensive reform of the United Nations Security Council as part of a drive to create a "new world order" and "global society".

Brown is drawing up plans to expand the number of permanent members in a move that will provoke fears that the veto enjoyed by Britain could be diluted eventually. The US, France, Russia and China also have a veto but the number of members could be doubled to include India, Germany, Japan, Brazil and one or two African nations.

Brown has mooted the modernisation of international institutions for the 21st century, particularly the UN, created in 1945, to reflect the “world's new challenges and power bases” during his four-day trip to China and India. Last night, British sources revealed "intense discussions" on UN reform were under way and that Brown raised the issue whenever he met another world leader.

The Prime Minister believes the UN is punching below its weight. In 2003, it failed to agree on a fresh resolution giving explicit approval for military action in Iraq. George Bush then acted unilaterally, winning the support of Tony Blair and invaded Iraq.

UN reform is highly sensitive issue, especially in the US, so Brown and co are yet to publish official proposals fearing widespread opposition. Thus Brown is trying to build a consensus for change first.

His aides are adamant that the British veto will not be negotiated away. One option is for the nations who join not to have a veto, at least initially. In a speech in Delhi, Brown said : "I support India's bid for a permanent place – with others – on an expanded UN Security Council." However, he is not backing Pakistan's demand for a seat if India wins one.

He has also disclosed a plan for the UN to spend £100m a year on setting up a "rapid reaction force" to stop "failed states" sliding back into chaos after a peace deal has been reached. £100 million? Peanuts! The US caused more in damages in one day during the invasion of Iraq!! It’ll take twice that much just to bribe UN officials! He also suggests that civilians such as police, administrators, judges and lawyers work alongside military peace-keepers.

But Brown wants the World Bank to lead to lead the struggle against climate change, though as The Independent reported, the World Ban is the last organisation to be trusted with the environment and climatic change:

“The World Bank has emerged as one of the key backers behind an explosion of cattle ranching in the Amazon, which new research has identified as the greatest threat to the survival of the rainforests….the catastrophic destruction of the Amazon to make way for ranches is being funded by the same international institutions that have pledged to fight deforestation.”

“The World Bank, which unveiled a new programme to fund "avoided deforestation" at the UN climate summit in Bali last month, is at the same time pouring money into the expansion of slaughterhouses in the Amazon region. The new report estimates that the internationally funded expansion of Brazil's beef industry was responsible for up to 12 billion tons of CO2 emissions over the past decade – an amount comparable to two years of emissions from the US.

As part of his fantastic package to help the poor in less developed countries, Brown is to bring back honorary knighthoods and other awards for cricketers from Commonwealth countries. He said: "Cricket is one of the great things that bind the Commonwealth together. It used to be that great cricketers from the Commonwealth would be recognised by the British nation I would like to see some of the great players in the modern era honoured."

Make no mistake about it; Brown's trip to India and China was not on humanitarian grounds. He is batting for British capitalism. Thus, Jane Wardell reports in today’s Independent:

”Brown is visiting India after two days in China, where he and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced plans to increase trade between their countries by 50 percent over the next several years to US$60 billion (€41 billion)…. Brown was expected to sign off on business deals worth US$6.5 billion (€4.4 billion) while in India.”

And in that same paper, Hamish McRae tells us why India is more important to us that China:

“Within the next decade, it looks very much as though India will become a bigger economy than the UK, the first Commonwealth country to do so. That would signify an interesting change of power indeed. Last year it grew at about 9 per cent, almost three times the rate of the UK, and I have just been looking at some projections by Lehman Brothers that suggest that with the right reforms it could grow at 10 per cent a year for the next decade.

“It is important because power is shifting from both Europe and North America towards Asia….It is a shift almost as important as the shift away from Asia and towards the UK, then Europe, then the US, that happened 200 years ago with the Industrial Revolution.”

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